June 18, 2019
Celebrations were held throughout San Francisco this past weekend to honor the approximately 240 graduates of University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry. The weekend of awards and activities culminated in the conferring of doctoral degrees, bachelor of science degrees, master of science degrees, and certificates of completion in residency programs during the school's commencement gathering.
The school's 125th annual commencement was held at San Francisco's Masonic auditorium on Sunday, June 16. The events recognized students graduating with Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS); International Dental Studies (IDS); Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene; Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD); Master of Science in Dentistry, Orthodontics; Master of Science in Dentistry, Endodontology; and Advanced Education in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery degrees.
The school's International Dental Studies program celebrated the graduation of 25 dentists from eight countries, including China, Egypt, India, Iraq, Kenya, Pakistan, Russia and, for the first time since the international program started in 1987, Turkey.
In addition to dental-related degrees, this year's commencement also celebrated the graduation of 44 students from Pacific's inaugural Master of Physician Assistant Studies program.
The event included a student address by Dr. James T. Ichiuji, remarks from University of the Pacific President Pamela Eibeck, and a closing charge from Dean Nader A. Naderhsahi in which he emphasized the value of collaboration and encouraged graduates to continue to work together.
"I am proud to say that each of you has gone very far," said Dean Nadershahi. "You have gone far because of how you have supported one another, your school, and your profession. I encourage you to continue your collaborative nature and help your patients and communities live healthy lives. By working together, I know you will do great things and shape a better future for the health profession."
The Dugoni School Alumni Association welcomed the graduates into their ranks during a fun, black-tie event held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Friday, June 14. As one of the last opportunities for the graduating students to gather as a class before commencement, the guests enjoyed cocktails, dinner, awards and dancing. Awards were presented to honor students for excellence in scholarship, leadership, clinical care and community service. Student leaders addressed their classmates and recognized faculty and staff with awards voted on by the Class of 2019. Class leaders also presented a class gift of $20,874.19 to the school.
Family, significant others and friends were honored by graduates at the Thanks a Bunch Brunch, a long-standing tradition held this year at the InterContinental Hotel on Saturday, June 15. Graduates recognized their loved ones who provided emotional and financial support through the challenges of dental school. Each honoree was presented with a "Ph.T" certificate in "Putting him/her Through" as the school's group practice leaders read aloud graduates' notes of appreciation.
Omicron Kappa Upsilon (OKU) honor society inductees were recognized at a special dinner held on Saturday, June 15, at The Olympic Club's City Clubhouse. Omicron Kappa Upsilon is a national dental honor society that admits only the top 12 percent of the graduating class. Members are voted into the honor society by current faculty members who make their selections based on leadership, character and scholarship. OKU members graduate with high honors.
DDS graduates inducted into OKU were André John Barakat, Andrew Jinsoo Choi, Armita Fartash, Hannah Kristina Fox, Nicole Aryn Holownia, Kristie Michelle Huie, Grace Eunhae Kim, Samantha Nicole Lee, Conor P. Maguire-Hore, Ryan Mui, Vian Ngo, Christopher Niu, Alex Amma Rauchle, Alston Shian Trinh, Jonathan Michael Winfield, Melissa Wong and Matthew C. Yuen. Members elected from the IDS program were Maytham F. Abdulqader, B.D.S., Na Wang, B.D.S., M.D.S. and Shilpa Yadav, B.D.S., Dipl. Hosp. Admin.
In addition, Dr. Andrew Young and Dr. Debra Woo were inducted as faculty members and University of the Pacific Regent Gary Mitchell was inducted as an honorary member.
For University of the Pacific, this is the final of four commencement ceremonies for 2019 held over the past six weeks at its campuses in Sacramento, San Francisco and Stockton.